Incident CommandIncident Command System and implementation at major incidentWhat is Incident Command System (ICS) and its historyThe incident command system (ICS) is a particular approach to assembly and control of the highly reliable temporary organizations employed by many public safety professionals to manage diverse resources at emergency scenes. An ICS-based organization appears able to capitalize on efficiency and control benefits of bureaucracy, while avoiding or overcoming the considerable tendencies toward inertia (Hannan & Freeman, 2003) usually thought to accompany bureaucratic systems. ICS-based organizations may perform more reliably under extreme conditions than organizations founded on alternative approaches (for stance, organic systems).
They appear able to structure and restructure themselves on a moment-moment basis and to provide members with means to oscillate effectively between various preplanned organizational solutions to the more predictable aspects of a disaster circumstance and improvised approaches for the unforeseen and novel complications that often arise in such situations. The term "ICS" is the official designation for an approach used by many public safety professionals, including firefighters and police, to assemble and control the temporary systems they deploy to man- age personnel and equipment at a wide range of emergencies, such as fires, multi-casualty accidents (air, rail, water, roadway), natural disasters, hazardous materials spills, and so forth.
The ICS was originally developed through a cooperative effort among a number of federal, state, and local governmental agencies made in response to the harmful disorder that occurred among various organizations, including municipal and county fire departments, the California Department of Forestry, in the state government, and the federal government, at- tempting to suppress massive wild land fires in California during the 1970s.
It represented a significant departure from previous large-scale emergency management methods. (Hanssen-Bauer, 1996)Bronze, Silver and GoldA Bronze Commander directly controls the organizations resources at the incident and will be found with their staff working at the scene. The Gold Commander is in overall control of their organization’s resources at the incident. They will not be on site, but at a distant control room. The Silver Commander is the tactical commander who manages the strategic direction from Gold and makes them into sets of actions that are completed by Bronze. ICS and Fire ServicesThe importance of civilian disaster command became a significant focus of attention in the United States during the early 1970s after a series of major wildfires in Southern California highlighted recurrent difficulties in coordinating disaster response across multiple jurisdictions and agencies.
The FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies) project subsequently was initiated under the direction of the National Interagency Incident Management System to integrate proven management concepts into a standardized system for directing decision-making and resource utilization. (FIRESCOPE, 2004) Development of the Incident Command System (ICS) was the result of this cooperative local, state, and federal interagency effort to provide a consistent approach to preparedness, response, and recovery.
Although this organizational structure originally was developed specifically for fire hazard response, the original ICS model has been adapted and applied by a wide range of response agencies and to emergencies of varying type, size, and complexity, including natural disasters, hazardous materials accidents, mass gatherings, and terrorist incidents. (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2000)